Comics by ComiXology, the leading comic reading app on iPhone and iPad, is now offering those same comics on the web, making the move toward integrating its program over multiple platforms.
“It’s the next step in offering digital comics through ComiXology,” said David Steinberger, CEO of the company. “It shows our readers that they’re not just tied to one platform. If someone bought a comic on their iPhone or their iPad, now they can read that material on the web.”
ComiXology currently offers comics from more than 35 publishers, including exclusive contracts with creators like Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld to offer their digital content.
Eventually, the company’s web presence will include an online store, offering customers the opportunity to buy content on the internet that can read either on the web or on the iPad or iPhone. “We’re in the beta stage right now, but it’s going to be a full web store,” Steinberger said. “But for now, anyone who has a Comics by ComiXology login can also log into Comics.ComiXology.com and read the comics they already have.
“Because it’s beta, we’ve had the reader long enough that we wanted to get it out there and get some feedback,” he explained. “We’ve gotten some amazing feedback so far, while we finish up the store. This stuff invariably takes longer than we expect, but we’re hoping that, in the next few weeks, you should be able to make purchases on the online store.”
The online viewer is similar to the iPhone and iPad app, utilizing the company’s guided view technology. But one of the biggest differences is the ability to read the two-page view, something Steinberger said is a real advantage on a computer.
“Looking at a two-page spread on my computer’s big cinema display is just gorgeous,” he said. “I’ve actually been converted. I used to be an iPhone guy, obviously, since that was the first platform we were on. But then the iPad came out and I decided I’d read on the iPad instead of my iPhone. But if you’ve seen the two-page view on the iPad, you can’t really read it. So now I’m at the point where, if I’m taking a break at my desk, then two pages at a time on a really big screen looks just amazing. And we’ve even plugged our laptops into an HD television, and it looks incredible on TV.”
The new web outlet also offers publishers the ability to link to their free comics, providing an additional marketing tool. “We have more than 160 free comics, and you can link to an individual comic,” Steinberger said. “There’s no way to link to a single comic in the iPhone. You can’t just share a link to Walking Dead #1 and say, ‘hey! This is free on the iPhone!.’ But now, Robert Kirkman can say, ‘Here’s a link to The Walking Dead!’
“Another neat thing about the web app is that the publishers all have their own page, and they can provide a link to that. Or anyone can share a link to an individual comic,” he explained. “And if you go to that link, it’ll have a ‘read’ button if it’s free, and a ‘buy’ button if it’s not free. That’s it. You’re directly there.”Comics by comiXology on the web from comiXology on Vimeo.
The Comics by ComiXology apps on iPhone and iPad are also linked to physical comics shops through a retailer locating service, which appears at the end of the digital comic to encourage readers to buy the print copy. The feature will also be integrated into the website.
“Obviously, it’s just at the beta stage and has a long way to go in terms of making sure our retailer tools are all connected to it, but people really like the reader, so I think this will be just like our iPhone and iPad apps, leading people to the stores to check out more comics after reading them digitally,” Steinberger said.
As the web reader evolves into an online store, Steinberger said the Comics4Kids app that was recently announced by ComiXology will also be integrated into the website, as will the ComiXology-exclusive comics like Box 13 and Valentine.
“This is just the next step in our evolution, and we’ll be making quite a few more announcements over the next few months about the next level. We’ve kind of hit our stride here, and the web app lets everybody know that ComiXology is bigger than just the iPhone,” Steinberger said.